Boston Brown Bread – Slow and Easy

What’s so Boston about it? Probably the molasses…No one says….

Recipes for steam brown bread go back to the 1830’s…..and they mention lots of different containers. I think there’s a  timeline….

Pudding basins :

pudding basin

Pudding basins look like bowls and sometimes are – but that lip is to tie a top down so you could steam

Pudding molds:

steamed pudding mold

This is a steamed pudding mold – pour the batter in, snap on the lid and put it in boiling water

Baking powder tins

Clabber_Girl

Baking powder tins seem to be the first substitute from pudding molds

Coffee cans

coffee-cans

They need to be METAL coffee cans and not the plastic ones.

Then there was a more recent suggestion to save  cans that had safe seams….but I don’t buy that much food in cans, so I was perfectly contented to buy Boston Brown Bread in cans.

bbrown bread

But then I saw a recipe for

MASON JARS BROWN BREAD MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER

GENIUS

The recipe is pretty much the same though the decades…

Good Housekeeping cb

Good Housekeeping (1960’s)

beard on bread

Beard On Bread (1970’s)

KAF 200th anniversary

And King Arthur Flour (1990’s)

and the KAF website – all the same ingredients, different containers and method of cooking

BOSTON BROWN BREAD

SLOW AND EASY

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup rye flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

¾ cup dark, unsulphured molasses

(up to 1 cup of raisins is optional. I usually opt in)

 

  1. Mix the flours with the baking soda. Put aside.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and molasses. Add the wets to the drys.
  3. Grease 4  1 pint WIDE MOUTHED mason jars. (see the illustrations below)
  4. Grease the lids, too.
  5. Divide the batter between the four jars – I used a canning funnel.
  6. Wide them off.
  7. Put the greased lids on.
  8. Put the jars in a slow cooker. Fill the cooker halfway up the sides f the jar.
  9. Put on the lid and turn up the heat.
  10. Cook on high 2-3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Us potholders (mine are silicon) and take the jars out of the water.
  12. When they’re cool enough, shake the bread out of the jars and cool on a rack.
  13. Slice and serve. Eat with butter or cream cheese.
  14. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. It’s usually magically gone so very soon…..

 

BLUE_WM_PINT_JAR_1

This is the wide-mouth jar. Notice the straight side up to the opening. If you steam bread in here, the bread will come out when it’s done. This is an important detail. Should you use the wrong jar, serve it with a spoon……..like you meant to do it the whole time.

ball-blue-heritage-regular-mouth-pint-16oz-mason-jar

This is the regular jar – notice that while you could fish a pickle out, a bread would have a hard time slipping out. Hence the serve with a spoon option…..

canning funnel

I love my canning funnel. I use it all the time, wets and drys. Sometimes I can, too.

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3 Comments

Filed under Bread, New England, Pantry

3 responses to “Boston Brown Bread – Slow and Easy

  1. Thank you for this. I have always loved Boston brown bread — remember having it as tea sandwiches, spread with cream cheese, when I was a youngster and people still regularly served tea sandwiches. Funny how things that are magical in one’s youth don’t translate often to “I should try to make this.” But now I want to make it. Thanks for the inspiration — and the recipes.

    • Thank you! I love brown bread, but for the last several years saving a safe can to make it was more trouble – and frankly, the B&M is pretty good. But I love using the slow cooker AND the wide-mouth Mason jars. I’ll actually be testing variations of the brown bread theme shortly

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